This year, I decided to make a New Year’s Resolution to write and publish on my blog daily. I have always wanted to keep a regular blog. In the times that I have started to keep a blog in the past, I was able to maintain momentum for a short amount of time, but then I would lose it. I am hoping that making a resolution will help keep the momentum going. I really like the idea of taking small, incremental steps daily to achieve a big goal.
It’s not a Sprint. It’s not a Marathon. It’s the Training.
When it comes to pacing ourselves in order to achieve a goal, we often hear the saying, “It’s not a Sprint, It’s a Marathon.” Having trained for and run a marathon, I actually think the better analogy lies with the training for a marathon instead of the marathon itself.
A typical marathon training cycle is 18 weeks, where you run 5-6 days a week, increasing your load every week up to race day. I followed Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 2 Training Plan, for the Napa Valley Marathon, which I ran in 2014. By this time, I was running regularly for nearly a year, having completed 3 Half Marathons by the time I ran NVM. Even for seasoned runners, the miles you run in a marathon training cycle is a grind, especially when you combine it with juggling everything else in your life.
I learned several things after training for and running a marathon:
- You cannot cram for a marathon. You have to put in the miles, and you have to run them incrementally over a long period of time.
- You run the marathon on your own. You might train with friends and you might run the race with others, but in the end, you are the one running the miles.
- Rest is a critical part of training. If you don’t rest, your body will be unable to recover, and you jeopardize current and future performance.
- You are able to do more than you currently believe. I was a self-proclaimed “non-runner”. The first time I ran 3 miles was in February 2013—I was out of shape and I nearly collapsed. Fast-forward one year, and I am in the best shape of my life, running over 50 miles a week.
Running is a metaphor of life.
Mindset is Everything.
As I reflect back on the transformation I made back in 2013-2014, I realize that the biggest change I made was in my mindset. I became a student of running. I learned everything I could about being a runner. I gave myself the grace to be a poor runner. My expectations of myself revolved around the quality of my practice more than the quality of my outcomes. Yes, I cared about my outcomes — I was excited about hitting milestones and finishing races, but I wasn’t obsessed about them.
I find myself in a similar situation to where I was in February 2013. I want to get better physically and mentally. I will be the first to admit that I am blessed with so much. This life has been good to me. I want to honor it and my maker by making it the best it can possibly be.